News and Press Releases of DIW Berlin News and Press Releases en DIW Berlin Mila Staneva has successfully defended her dissertation Mila Staneva, who worked at the Education and Family Department, has successfully defended her dissertation at the Freie Universität Berlin.

The dissertation with the title “Employment alongside Bachelor’s Studies in Germany. Implications for Education Outcomes, the School-to-Work Transition, and Social Inequality” was supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Solga (WZB Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Dr. C. Katharina Spieß (DIW Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin).
We congratulate Mila on her success and wish her all the best for her future career!

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:22:00 +0200
Germany economy defying an uncertain environment DIW Berlin expects GDP growth of 0.9 percent for 2019 and 1.7 percent for 2020 – Overall picture remains unchanged: domestic economy is supporting growth, foreign business is subdued - Unemployment continuing to decline - Trade war poses serious risks for the German economy - Municipal finances in need of restructuring

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:50:00 +0200
Daniel Bierbaumer has successfully defended his dissertation Daniel Bierbaumer, who worked at the Macroeconomics department, has successfully defended his dissertation at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The dissertation with the title "Commodity Pricing, Credit and Capital Flows: The Role of Financial Intermediaries" was supervised by Prof. Marcel Fratzscher, Ph.D. (DIW Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Florentine Schwark (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

We congratulate Daniel on his success and wish him all the best for his future career!

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 11:15:00 +0200
A refugee’s personality is one of the factors which decides how successful integration is An increased willingness to take risks, reciprocating friendliness, and a conviction that they are in control of their own lives lead to refugees gaining a foothold in Germany faster.  

Refugees who are more willing to take risks, who tend to reciprocate friendliness, and who are more strongly convinced than others are that they are in control of their lives integrate into society faster. This is the result of a study undertaken on the basis of the “IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany” which researchers from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW) devised in conjunction with researchers from the University of the Saarland and the University of Münster. The study was published recently in the “Collabra: Psychology” journal.

Tue, 21 May 2019 09:21:00 +0200
Theresa Entringer joins SOEP Theresa Entringer completed her doctorate with Prof. Gebauer at the University of Mannheim. Her dissertation, entitled “The Sociocultural Motives Perspective: Personality and the social motive for assimilation versus contrast”, investigates why and to what degree sociocultural contexts moderate the relationship between the self-concept and socially and individually relevant variables such as religiosity, prosociality, and self-esteem. Since May, Theresa Entringer has been part of the GDR-Past and Mental Health: Risk and Protection Factors ( DDR-PSYCH) project and will be conducting research on protective and risk factors for psychological health in East vs. West Germany.

Fri, 17 May 2019 12:11:00 +0200
20 Years of Common European Monetary Policy: Reasons to Celebrate by Jan Philipp Fritsche and Patrick Christian Harms

Twenty years after the introduction of the euro, this Weekly Report uses an empirical analysis to assess the performance of monetary policy in the EMU founding states. It is often claimed that the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) cannot outperform its national predecessors, as the euro area countries experience different business cycles yet share a common interest rate. However, the present analysis shows that the ECB’s common monetary policy has been more adept at stabilizing the economy than most of its national predecessors from the perspective of the member states. With a common currency, European monetary policy has also become largely independent of exchange rates. However, the central bank is unable to counter long-term macroeconomic imbalances. To protect euro area countries from crises more effectively, priority should be given to reforming the monetary union and fiscal policy as well as to completing the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union. Mistakes in crisis management must be openly discussed in order to address the temptation some have to renationalize economic and monetary policy; the ECB’s monetary policy should not be a scapegoat.

Wed, 15 May 2019 02:00:00 +0200
Dominique Hansen joins SOEP Dominique Hansen joined the SOEP team in April. He is taking over the development of from Marcel Hebing with a focus on user experience, software quality, and data quality. In his studies of information science, he explored the quality of research software, reproducibility, open science, and good scientific practice.

Mon, 13 May 2019 04:06:00 +0200
Artificial intelligence and big data can help contain resistance to antibiotics by  Michael Ribers and Hannes Ullrich

Improving physicians’ prescription practices is a primary strategy for countering the rise in resistance to antibiotics. This would prevent physicians from incorrectly prescribing antibiotics, one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance. The increasing availability of medical data and methods of machine learning provide an opportunity to generate instant diagnoses. In the present study, the example of urinary tract infections in Denmark is used to demonstrate how data-based predictions can improve clinical practice in the face of increasing antibiotic resistance. For this purpose, comprehensive administrative and medical data, in combination with machine learning methods and economic modeling, were used to develop rules for prescribing antibiotics. The total number of prescriptions could be reduced by 7.42 percent by applying the recommended policy measures without reducing the number of treated bacterial infections. This demonstrates the great potential of this method. However, in Germany this potential cannot be tapped until more information is digitized. The information that must be supplied to the IT systems in physicians’ practices and hospitals is often collected and saved by decentralized institutions; linking it is key.

Tue, 07 May 2019 04:00:00 +0200
More Europe: 13 challenges—13 solutions for more convergence, stability, and competition Around 20 DIW Berlin economists present solutions to European challenges - Uniform conditions can make the EU more resilient - Better incentive systems ensure more convergence - Europe must be united in countering global economic risks such as the US tariff dispute

Growth and progress towards equal living conditions across the European Union continues, but the crises of recent years have shown that Europe needs reforms. In light of the European elections at the end of May, around 20 economists at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) examined what these reforms could look like. More competitiveness and convergence could be achieved through a “Pact for Innovation,” more stringent merger control, and industrial support targeted towards specific goals. New fiscal regulations, a stabilization fund, and regulatory harmonization would make Europe more stable and social. Member states must also present a united front to effectively face global challenges such as migration, environmental protection, and climate change.

Thu, 02 May 2019 11:00:00 +0200
Stability Implications of Financial Interconnectedness under the Capital Markets Union In the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, the European Commission is trying to advance the initiatives laid out in its action plan for a European Capital Markets Union (CMU). In order to diversify financing sources and to increase private risk sharing, the CMU aims at deepening the integration of European equity and debt markets. While there are benefits associated with more cross-border investments, the intensification of connectedness between financial market participants in the Eurozone and beyond can also engender systemic risks. This article reviews the debate about the link between capital market integration and financial stability from the perspective of interconnectedness.

Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:00:00 +0200
Measuring the effect of foreign exchange intervention policies on exchange rates Central bank intervention in foreign exchange markets is a common tool to influence exchange rates. Although central bankers are convinced of their policy’s effectiveness, econometric estimates of precise effects differ across studies. The difficulties with estimations mostly result from a lack of adequate data. This article highlights different econometric approaches that aim to mitigate estimation problems. Techniques comprise control and matching approaches, event studies, as well as the use and imputation of high-frequency data. Their comparison reveals a trade-off between clear identification of the effect and establishing its validity over a sustained period.

Thu, 25 Apr 2019 11:00:00 +0200
In Germany, Younger, Better Educated Persons, and Lower Income Groups Are More Likely to Be in Favor of Unconditional Basic Income by  Jule Adriaans, Stefan Liebig and Juergen Schupp

Representative survey results have shown a stable approval rate for implementing unconditional basic income of between 45 and 52 percent in Germany since 2016/17. In European comparison, this approval rate is low. Younger, better educated persons, and those at risk of poverty support the concept of unconditional basic income in Germany. But these demographics are not the only factors that correlate with attitudes toward unconditional basic income: subjective justice attitudes do as well. The justice norm of equity and unconditional basic income appear to be contradictory. On the other hand, people who find that there are deficits in covering the needs of society’s lower income groups tend to approve of unconditional basic income. Therefore, analyses show that attitudes toward unconditional basic income follow specific patterns and social regularities; and they were relatively stable between 2016 and 2018. As long as uncertainty predominates regarding the social costs and benefits of implementing such a basic income, the relatively high proportion of those in favor must be interpreted with care. It does not indicate that society is actually ready for reforms in this direction.

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 10:40:00 +0200
Hans Walter Steinhauer member of the SOEP team Hans Walter Steinhauer joined the SOEP team on April 1. He will be working in the Survey Methodology and Management research area on sampling, weighting, and imputation. He will support the research area by contributing his experience from work on the National Educational Panel (NEPS) and other studies of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi). Hans holds a doctorate in survey statistics. His research focuses on item and unit non-response as well as panel attrition.

Tue, 09 Apr 2019 04:11:00 +0200
Stefan Liebig appointed Professor of Empirical Social Structure Analysis and Survey Methodology at FU Berlin SOEP Director and DIW Executive Board Member Professor Stefan Liebig has been appointed Professor of Empirical Social Structure Analysis and Survey Methodology at FU Berlin, where he began work on April 1, 2019. His position is a joint professorship between FU Berlin and DIW Berlin.

Stefan Liebig conducts research on social inequality and social structure analysis with a focus on attitudes towards social justice. He has been Director of the SOEP at DIW Berlin since early 2018. He is a member of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and Deputy Chair of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII). Liebig previously held a professorship at the University of Bielefeld.

Sun, 07 Apr 2019 12:14:00 +0200
Joint economic forecast spring 2019: Significant Cooling of the Economy - Political Risks High Press release of the project group "Gemeinschaftsdiagnose": German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association, ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in cooperation with the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at ETH Zurich, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna

Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their forecasts for economic growth in 2019 signifi­cantly downward. They expect Germany’s gross domestic product to increase by 0.8%. This is more than one percentage point less than in autumn 2018, when the forecast was still for 1.9% growth. In contrast, the institutes confirm their previous forecast for the year 2020: gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.8%. These are the results of the Joint Economic Forecast for spring 2019, which will be presented in Berlin on Thursday.

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 10:00:00 +0200
The Low-Wage Sector in Germany Is Larger Than Previously Assumed by  Markus M. Grabka and Carsten Schröder

The total number of dependent employees in Germany has increased by more than four million since the financial crisis. Part of this growth took place in the low-wage sector. Analyses based on data from the Socio-Economic Panel, which in 2017 for the first time include detailed information on secondary employment, show that there were around nine million low-wage employment contracts in Germany that year, around one quarter of all contracts. Women, young adults and employees in Eastern Germany are particularly likely to receive low wages. The legal minimum wage introduced in 2015 is below the low-wage threshold, and thus did not decrease the proportion of low-wage employees, although wages at the bottom-end of the distribution did markedly increase. Wage mobility has hardly changed since the mid-1990s: almost two thirds of employees in the lowest wage category were still there three years later. In order to curtail the low-wage sector, a better and broader qualification of workers, as well as a more proactive wage policy are called for. A reform of the mini-job rules would also be helpful.

Wed, 03 Apr 2019 03:00:00 +0200
Ecological Tax Revenue Still Yields Lower Pension Contributions and Higher Pensions Today by Stefan Bach, Hermann Buslei, Michelle Harnisch and Niklas Isaak

The ecological tax reform that Germany implemented between 1999 and 2003 increased energy tax rates—especially on gasoline and diesel. Today, the ecological tax hikes yield an annual revenue of around 20 billion euros or 0.6 percent of GDP. The money is used to finance a higher federal grant to the public pension scheme. Calculations based on a pension simulation model show that the contribution rate to the statutory pension fund is currently 1.2 percentage points lower and pensions 1.5 percent higher than they would be without the currently higher federal subsidies. A microsimulation analysis found that overall, the ecological tax reform is neutral with regard to revenue and burden. For various income groups and social groups, there are certain levels of burden and relief. For example, the reform relieves middle-income households of employees and retired persons who benefit from the public pension scheme. Households with low incomes are actually burdened, as are commuters with long commutes. These distribution effects should be taken into account in a further development of ecological taxes.

Thu, 28 Mar 2019 03:42:00 +0200
German economy growing despite uncertainties and risks; global economy continuing to cool down According to DIW Berlin estimates, the German economy will continue its solid growth performance in 2019 and 2020. Overall, however, the economy is cooling noticeably and production capacity utilization is returning to normal. This is primarily due to the global economy weakening; it has been strained by China’s weakening economy, trade conflicts, and political uncertainties such as Brexit. The German economy will be particularly affected by these developments, as it specializes in exporting capital goods. However, the German economy will likely gradually make up for its dip in growth, helped by the fact that private households have been benefiting from fiscal policy stimuli since the beginning of 2019 and the increasing signs of a recovery in the automobile industry. Nevertheless, DIW Berlin has lowered its growth forecast for the German economy to 1.0 percent for this year in light of the gloomier business expectations in many sectors. The outlook for 2020 remains virtually unchanged, however, with GDP forecasted to grow by 1.8 percent.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 11:03:00 +0200
Also on Sundays, Women Perform Most of the Housework and Child Care by Claire Samtleben

Paid and unpaid work are still distributed very unequally between men and women in Germany. Regardless of time restrictions imposed by gainful employment, there is a gender- specific gap in time spent on housework and child care (gender care gap). The total volume of paid and unpaid work on weekdays is roughly the same for men and women (approx. 11 hours), although women perform more unpaid and men more paid work. Also on Sundays, women spend an average of 1.5 hours more on unpaid work, even though almost no gainful work is done—neither by women nor men. In households with children—especially, young children—the gender care gap is particularly wide. Since the unequal distribution of paid and unpaid work negatively affects the financial situation of women, policy measures which support women’s participation in the labor market and encourage men’s participation in housework and child care are important. An example of the latter would be the extension of partner months for the parental
leave benefit.

Mon, 11 Mar 2019 02:01:00 +0200
Strong Correlation between Large Gender Pay Gaps and Non-Linear Pay in Certain Occupations by Aline Zucco

The gender pay gap of 21 percent in Germany is partly due to the fact that men and women work in different occupations. However, considerable pay gaps between men and women can also be observed within occupations, although the gap is not constant across occupations. In particular, there is a substantial gender pay gap in occupations with non-linear earnings, i.e. earnings increase non-linearly with the number of hours worked. Additionally, occupations which have a high share of leadership positions exhibit a larger gender pay gap. Occupations at public companies tend to have smaller pay gaps. Changes in the organization of work that allow more flexible working hours and top-sharing (dividing a management position into two part-time positions) could help reducing the gender pay gap. Moreover, collective agreements, which usually apply to public sector employers, could also lead to a reduction in the pay gap.

Mon, 11 Mar 2019 02:00:00 +0200